Offshore Wind Farms planned

In an attempt to harness more wind energy and bail out power-starved states, the ministry of new and renewable energy is gearing to set up offshore wind farms in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu with technical assistance from the European Union. After initial feasibility studies and surveys conducted by the National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE), two wind farms, each of one gigawatt capacity, are likely to come up north of Dhanushkodi and near Kanyakumari.
These areas, it was revealed, are buffeted by winds with an average speed of 8-9 metres second, more than the required norms for setting offshore wind farms. However, the project requires clearances from numerous agencies, including the environment ministry, as the Dhanushkodi region is part of the Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park “We are expecting to finalise the best locations for setting up the offshore wind farms by December on the basis of the feasibility report being prepared and the Gujarat and Tamil Nadu coasts are preferred.The project will be carried out through close collaboration between the central and state governments,” said Alok Srivastava, Joint Secretary, ministry of new and renewable energy.
The Centre is also speeding up the process of finalising the draft policy on offshore wind energy and plans to submit the final version before Parliament. The ministry of new and renewable energy, expected to be the nodal agency, will enter into a memorandum of understanding with various stakeholders in the public and private power sectors to float joint venture projects to execute the policy.
Experts said setting up offshore wind farms will be more expensive than onshore ones presently operating in various parts of the country, including Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Gujarat.

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